London First suggests an independent ombudsman is needed to deal with aircraft noise in London

London First is the business organisation that aims to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business” and which supports expanding London airport capacity, especially at Heathrow. It has produced a new short report called “More Flights, Less Noise” which recommends that, in order to get more flights over London, there should be a noise pollution tsar, to protect people living under flight paths.  They say an independent noise ombudsman, with a range of powers including the ability to fine an airline that persistently broke noise pollution limits, would address a “basic lack of trust and transparency” between those pressing the economic case for airport expansion and local communities. London First say a similar scheme running in Paris since 2000 has been successful. Their hope of there being less noise stems from slight improvements by modern planes on aircraft noise. However, in reality the improvements are very small and these are more than outweighed if there are more flights. Communities being well informed about the noise is no substitute for reducing it.
.

 

 

London First

 

Noise pollution tsar should police aircraft noise, says London First

7.11.2013 (London First)

A noise pollution tsar should be appointed to protect people living under flight paths under new plans from a leading business group.

London First, which represents many of the UK’s leading businesses, said that an independent noise ombudsman, with a range of powers including the ability to fine an airline that persistently broke noise pollution limits, would address a “basic lack of trust and transparency” between those pressing the economic case for airport expansion and local communities.

A similar scheme running in Paris since 2000 has issued more than 10m euros in fines to airlines and has the power to ground the aircraft of airlines that do not pay penalties.

The plan, set out in London First’s “More Flights, Less Noise” report, comes as airports commission chair, Sir Howard Davies, prepares to announce a shortlist of potential sites for a new runway in the South East.

In October, Sir Howard said that he believed there was no option but to build extra runways in the South East to cope with rising demand.

The London First report shows how noise levels under flight paths are expected to fall as airlines invest in a new generation of quieter planes, but local communities and the public at large are unsure whether they will share the benefits.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said it was vital for the UK that airport capacity was increased.

But she added that unless a basic lack of trust and transparency around noise levels was addressed head-on, it might never happen.

“Limiting and cutting noise are challenges for any airport but the fact is that planes are getting quieter, major airlines like British Airways and Virgin are investing heavily in new fleets and airports are actively improving landing and take-off methods to reduce the noise impact,” she said.

“However, we are miles behind foreign rivals when it comes to communicating how we monitor noise levels and deal with any problems.

“An independent ombudsman would make sure that all airlines fulfil their obligations. It would give local communities the assurance that someone is looking out for them and policy makers a source of objective information on which to make their decisions.”

Under the plans, the independent Noise Ombudsman would monitor noise pollution, which would be set at appropriate levels for each individual airport by the government. It would have a range of powers, from light touch verification of plans already in place, to full scale intervention.

The ombudsman would:

  • monitor all aircraft noise emissions
  • levy penalties where breaches of regulations occur
  • report on noise in a manner that is transparent and intelligible to local communities

However, Baroness Valentine warned that fines should be a last resort.

“Ideally, violations should be dealt with through investigation of their root causes, and working with airports and airlines to prevent their reoccurrence, rather than automatically applying a penalty,” she said.

“A risk of the ‘parking ticket’ approach is that penalties come to be seen simply as a cost of doing business when their objective should be to deter.”

The report also highlights a number of operational changes that could be made to reduce noise.

These include ‘noise preferential routes’ to help aircraft avoid populated areas.

http://londonfirst.co.uk/noise-pollution-tsar-should-police-aircraft-noise/

.

Paper : “More Flights, Less Noise” 

http://londonfirst.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/More-Flights-Less-Noise-A-Manifesto-for-Balancing-Aviation-Growth-and-Aircraft-Noise.pdf

.

London First  say, describing themselves: 

“We are a non-profit organisation with the mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. We aim to influence national and local government policies and investment decisions to support London’s global competitiveness.”

 

 

.


.

The report (10 short pages) says:.

“we are miles behind foreign rivals when it comes to communicating how we monitor noise levels and deal with any problems.”
and
In order to establish greater trust and transparency, local people – as well as national
policy makers – need greater comfort and assurance in the information being presented to them about the noise impacts of current and future operations.  They also need confidence that airports will be held to account for any commitments made.


and

The Ombudsman must be independent of the aviation industry, though whether or not it should be within, or separate from, the Civil Aviation Authority remains open to debate.
 
and

Penalties for breaches should be greatest in relation to those practices which have the most damaging impact on affected communities, for example night  flights. Such penalties should also be proportionate, not only to act as a real deterrent to airlines but also to take account of the degree of ‘preventability’ in relation to the transgression in question. Ideally, violations should be dealt with through investigation of their root causes, and working with airports and airlines to prevent their reoccurrence, rather than automatically applying a
penalty. A risk of the ‘parking ticket’ approach is that penalties come to be seen simply as a cost of doing business when their objective should be to deter. The Ombudsman should monitor closely the tariff of penalties and be able to recommend changes to Government where it is clear that the existing measures do not act as sufficient deterrent


.

Earlier:

 

Business lobby group, “London First” calling for airport action – including better rail/road links to Gatwick and Stansted

2.9.2013

Chief executives of 25 of London’s leading businesses will tomorrow confront  Sir Howard Davies to demand immediate action to fix Britain’s (alleged) “airports capacity crisis.” Members of lobby group London First say that British business will fall behind without three fixes for its airports: an immediate rise in the number of flights operating at Heathrow, an independent “noise regulator” to protect residents, and investment to improve road and rail links to Stansted and Gatwick. Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, said: “Debating the pros and cons of new airports and runways is all very well. But the more pressing concern is what we are going to do right now to increase our connectivity with emerging markets and grow our economy.” Among those attending the meeting will be bosses of CitiGroup, CLS Group, Nomura, Linklaters, Ernst & Young and 3i Group. “London First” is an aggressively pro-growth lobby organisation, whose stated mission is to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business.”  It has consistently pushed for Heathrow growth, with more aircraft noise for London residents, over recent years.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17255
.

.

 

“London First” calls for more intensive use of Heathrow runways with mixed mode in submission to Airports Commission

9.5.2013

“London First” is an aggressively pro-growth, pro London business lobby organisation, whose stated mission is to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business.”  It has sent in a submission to the Airports Commission, calling for expansion of Heathrow and the ending of runway alternation. This would mean both runways being used for much of the day, in “mixed mode”.  London First believes that fitting some 10% more fights into Heathrow will solve the UK’s economic ills, and takes a dashingly cavalier attitude to the impact of the extra noise on the quality of life of Londoners overflown. They appear to either not understand how aircraft noise impinges on the lives of those under flight paths, or deliberately seek to underplay the problems, and exaggerate the small reductions in noise that aircraft manufacturers have achieved. They use noise figures from the time of Concorde to give the impression there has been a huge noise reduction. London First also recommend that Gatwick and Stansted be allowed to compete more effectively, and have better rail services, to take some business from Heathrow. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1258

.

“London First” gets their letter, signed by over 40 business people, in the Sunday Times

5.3.2012

This is a second letter, this time in the Sunday Times, with a load of business people adding their voice to the lobby group, London First. They are asking Justine Greening to include Heathrow in the forthcoming aviation consultation.  What they really want is a third runway at Heathrow.  If needs be, they say extra noise from a new Heathrow runway or Heathrow expansion should be mitigated. The myth is again pushed that – in some unexplained way – the UK will suffer economically if there are not enough direct flights to China. There is never any evidence presented to back this up.  In reality, Heathrow has excellent connections to the world. Where there are few flights to a destination, it is because there is not enough demand. Many of Heathrow’s flights are predominantly filled with leisure travellers, eg. the approximately 21 flights per day to Miami from Heathrow.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1339

.

London First report wants 3rd Heathrow runway, and mixed mode on both its runways, as well as a new south east hub airport

1.2.2012

London First, which calls themselves “an influential business membership organisation with the mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business” have today produced a report called “London, Britain and the world: Transport links for economic growth”.  The report says that an expanded at Heathrow as the “only credible option” for the capital.  It accuses the government of being unwilling to consider “politically difficult solutions”. London First believes the connectivity of London is key in its success, and that “congested roads, overcrowded trains and aircraft circling above the South East waiting for permission to land at Britain’s only hub airport, Heathrow, are all signs of our critical strategic transport infrastructure operating at its limits and lacking resilience when put under pressure.” They are calling for significant improvement in London’s connectivity, both with the rest of the UK and with emerging international markets. They want easier planning and suggest varioius recommendations “to deliver short, medium and long-term improvements to London’s road, rail and air links.” They are asking for an expanded Heathrow, flights landing and taking off on both  Heathrow runways (mixed mode) and a new south east airport ……..

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=7722

.

.

.

.

.